Industrialization and Workers Effects of Industrialization Ch. 6.3
The Growing Work Force • Increase in immigrants: • 14 million new immigrants to the U.S. between 1860 and 1900 • From 1860-1910 the US population jumped from 31.4 million to 91.9 million. • Over this span of forty years the population tripled in size. • Contract Labor Act (1864) • Immigration was encouraged by the federal government • Employers made contracts with immigrants in exchange for passage to the U.S.
The Growing Work Force • 8-9 million Americans moved to cities during the late 1800s due to poor conditions and struggles on farms. • 46% of the U.S. population lived in urban areas. • Cities stretched to accommodate these millions and deteriorated in the process.
Factory Work • Most laborers worked 12 hrs. a day six days a week. • 1868 Federal employees granted eight-hour work day • but this didn’t apply to private industry
Factory Work • Piecework: A system where workers were paid not by the time worked but by what they produced. • Most of this type of work was done in sweatshops. • A shop where employees worked long hours, at low wages, under poor working conditions
Factory Work • Increasing Efficiency - • Fredrick Winslow Taylor- • Goal to increase productivity to increase profits but sometimes led to layoffs. • Division of Labor - • factory workers performed one small task, over and over, and rarely saw the finished product. • Caused workers to be disconnected from the finished product and • Owners saw their employees as “parts” and did not interact with them as much.
Factory Work • The Work Environment • Workers were ruled by the clock • Discipline was strict • Workplaces were not always safe--noise, poor lighting and ventilation were challenges. • Still offered better pay and more opportunities than other jobs. • The practice of child labor came under attack [Jacob Riis]
Working Families • In the 1880’s children made up more than 5% of the industrial labor force. • Children’s wages often supplemented the family income and some left school to work. • Families in need relied on private charities as the government did not provide public assistance.
The Great Strikes Ch. 6.4
Gulf Between Rich and Poor • In 1890 the richest 9% of Americans held about 75% of the wealth. • Socialism gained popularity • An economic and political philosophy that favors public instead of private of the means of production. • Wealth should be distributed equally to everyone. • The wealthy saw this as a threat to their fortunes, politicians saw it as a threat to public order.
The Rise of Labor Unions The Knights of Labor • Hoped to organize all working men and women, skilled and unskilled into a single union and recruited African Americans. • They fought for: • Equal pay for equal work, and 8-hour workday and an end to child labor • Sought to help their members through political activity and education • Sponsored first Labor Day on September 5, 1882
TheRise of Labor Unions • American Federation of Labor • The AFL was a craft union • Hoped to organize only skilled workers in a network of smaller unions each devoted to a specific craft. • Women and African Americans were generally excluded. • Focused mainly on issues of workers’ wages, hours and working conditions. • Used economic pressure against employers-strikes and boycotts. • Collective bargaining: • the process in which workers negotiate as a group with employers.
The Rise of Labor Unions The Wobblies • Founded by those who opposed the AFL’spolicies • Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) • A radical union focused on unskilled workers and included many socialists. • Many of their strikes were violent
The Rise of Labor Unions • Reaction of Employers • They generally disliked and feared unions • Took measures to stop unions • Forbid union meetings • Firing union organizers • Sign “yellow dog” contract • Refuse to bargain collectively.
Railroad Workers Organize • The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 • Railway workers protested unfair wage cuts and unsafe working conditions. • The strike was violent and unorganized. • President Hayes sent federal troops to put down the strikes. • From then on, employers relied on federal and state troops to repress labor unrest. • Debs and the American Railway Union • At the time of the 1877 strike, railroad workers mainly organized into various “brotherhoods,” which were basically craft unions. • Eugene V. Debs proposed a new industrial union for all railway workers called the American Railway Union (A.R.U.). • The A.R.U. would replace all of the brotherhoods and unite all railroad workers, skilled and unskilled.
The Haymarket Riot Haymarket, 1886 • On May 1, groups of workers mounted a national demonstration for an eight-hour workday. • On May 3, police broke up a fight between strikers and scabs. (A scab is a negative term for a worker called in by an employer to replace striking laborers.) • Union leaders called a protest rally on the evening of May 4 in Chicago’s Haymarket Square. • A group of anarchists, radicals who oppose all government, joined the strikers. • At the event, someone threw a bomb that killed a police officer. • The riot that followed killed dozens on both sides. • Investigators never found the bomb thrower, yet eight anarchists were tried for conspiracy to commit murder. Four were hanged.
Strikes Rock the Nation • Homestead 1892 • In 1892, Andrew Carnegie’s partner, Henry Frick, tried to cut workers’ wages at Carnegie Steel. • The union called a strike and Frick called in the Pinkertons. • The union called off the Homestead Strike after an anarchist tried to assassinate Frick. • Even though the anarchist was not connected to the strike, the public associated his act with rising labor violence.
Strikes Rock the Nation • Pullman, 1894 • Eugene Debs instructed strikers not to interfere with the nation’s mail. • Railway owners turned to the government for help. The judge cited the Sherman Antitrust Act and won a court order forbidding all union activity that halted railroad traffic. • Court orders against unions continued, limiting union gains for the next 30 years.